The economic impact by COVID-19 pandemic is huge and is hurting everyone including F1 as Ferrari’s Mattia Binotto says cost decision should be rational.
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought with it an economic downturn, and in the world of F1 racing – as well as pretty much everywhere else – this has serious impact, as even privately-owned teams see decreases in sponsorship, etc.
In an effort to curb the side effects of this, the FIA pushed back the 2021 technical rule changes until 2022. At the same time, they’ve kept the financial regulations in place, and will therefore be putting the budget cap as scheduled next year.
However, some feel that these changes are not enough. The reported claw back of the budget cap from $175 million to $150 million seems still not enough, especially for McLaren’s Zak Brown, while Red Bull’s Christian Horner and Binotto think otherwise.
In an interview to BBC Sport, Brown spoke about even lesser cap where he felt they have to do under $150 million, while opposition thought $150 million was already a huge cut back as the bigger F1 outfits will have to lay off personnel then.
Even as both agree that more needs to be done, though, their priorities were contrasting as Horner thought the postponement of the technical regulations to 2023 was most important, while Brown saw the budget cap element as the biggest issue.
For now, it looks like the FIA has shunned down Horner’s request and is firm that the technical regulations will come into effect from 2022 F1 season, after the latest video meet earlier in the week, as talks continue on for the budget cap.
“There is positive and healthy discussion going on among all the teams to be responsible. And it’s not just about the cap,” said Horner. “The cap is a ceiling. It is almost secondary as far as I’m concerned, it is reducing the cost in order to go racing.
“With, let’s say, 60% of the chassis frozen for the next 18 months, that will have a dramatic effect on reducing the operational costs of a Grand Prix team, whether that be for Red Bull or Williams.” Siding him in not lowering the cost further is Binotto.
The Italian felt that the governing body has to be rational and not emotional in their decision-making when dealing with financial situation of everyone. “Certainly it is a concern,” said Binotto in the an interview to Sky Sports UK.
“We are fully aware of the difficulties of some teams and we are fully aware we need to address costs for the future of F1 – reducing costs is the first driver of making sure each single team is surviving. We are discussing a budget-cap reduction but we should not forget in doing that exercise that we’ve got different structures, and different assets.
“There are teams which are constructors like Ferrari and other top teams where we are designing, developing, homologating and producing each single component of our cars. Other teams are customers, buying some parts, and do not have the same structures.
“So when discussing a budget cap we must not forget we have different situations, and it’s important we found a common ground which is suited to the different situations and maybe the answer is not a single budget cap equal for all the teams. I think we should avoid being emotional at the moment.”
Here’s Zak Brown on the concern about smaller F1 teams
Here’s news on shutdown extension
Here’s the latest from FIA on 2020/2021 changes
Here’s Mattia Binotto on the talked upon schedule changes
The article was co-written by Darshan Chokhani